Sailing the Mediterranean year-round, Norwegian Jade is the perfect way to explore the pyramids, castles, cathedrals, romantic islands and sophisticated cities of Europe.
Freestyle Dining There's no better way to sum up Freestyle Dining: Eat whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want. Reservations are required for the specialty restaurants, but not required for the main dining room. Grand Pacific Main Restaurant -Enjoy a number of delicious dishes from the award winning, five-course menu at this elegant restaurant inspired by the Matson Liner ships that used to sail from San Francisco to Honolulu. Jasmine Garden Asian Restaurant -This elegant adventure into Pan Asian fare is a world-class experience in the finest Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine, plus many more authentic Asian dishes. Sushi and Sashimi Bar - The Jasmine Garden Asian Restaurant also has a Sushi and Sashimi Bar where you can enjoy the very best sushi and sashimi expertly prepared as you watch. Cagney's Steakhouse - This upscale and traditional steakhouse is the perfect spot to enjoy choice cuts of meat grilled to perfection and served with all the trimmings. Dining with Children at Specialty Restaurants Children 3 years and younger always eat free. Topsider's Bar & Grill- Imagine you are marooned on a desert island in a beautiful beach shack with a full bar and grill.
Room Service - Choose from a number of delicious items from the room service menu that will be prepared and brought straight to your stateroom door. Learn the secrets to navigating the cities and cruise terminals your cruise will leave from. Summary: With the recent introduction of new ships the third biggest cruise company in the world. The line has recently forged a new alliance with Nickelodeon Television toput their characters onboard all NCL ships to interact with the kids. In-cabin private babysitting is no longer offered, but group babysitting for ages two to 12 is available from 10 p.m. Latitudes, the past passenger program, is comprised of four levels depending on number of cruises you have taken Bronze,(1-4), Silver, (5-9), Gold (10-14), and Platinum (15+). The only thing missing from Lattitudes is that Norwegian Epic does not offer a complimentary cocktail party to Lattitudes members. NCL automatically adds a fixed service charge of $10 to the shipboard accounts of passengers over 13 to make service personnel feel appreciated; children between three and 12 are charged $5.
While further tipping is not compulsory, NCL recommends a 15 percent gratuity for bar service and urges the beneficiaries of concierge or butler services to come up with a little something extra. A few people in cruising deserve special recognition, and the original founder of NCL, Knut Kloster, is certainly one of them.
Some of the landmark achievements in the history of NCL include buying the SS France in 1979, once the fastest ocean liner ever built (by the French Government), and re-naming it the SS Norway, then the largest cruise ship in the world. In the year 2000, after a fierce battle for public shares in which all the major cruise lines were players, NCL was acquired by a surprise victor, Star Cruises of Malaysia. NCL introduced a subsidiary company NCL-America after Congress gave the line exclusive rights to operate inter-island Hawaii cruising without having to call at a foreign port. The average age of NCL ships has become much younger in the last few years as they phased out the older ships (mostly sending them to obscure Asian ports to sail for Star Cruises) and introduced newer models to the fleet.
The next steps in Freestyle came with Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem which were launched in February and October, 2007. Following Norwegian Epic came a management shakeup where CEO Colin Veitch (2000 - 2010) was replaced by Kevin Sheehan who came to the company Cendant and Avis Car Rentals.
With these new luxury lines under their belt, suddenly Sheehan was surrounded by cruise innovators way beyond his level of experience and acumen.
Andy Stuart is a very popular figure in the cruise community and many people, especially travel agents, were exalted to see him finally become the CEO. Especially in its Caribbean itineraries, NCL attracts many first-time cruisers seeking a low- to mid-price cruise vacation.
When it comes to cruising Northern Europe, the Baltic always takes center stage, but Norway cruises should not be overlooked. Best Time for Norway Cruises June through August is the peak of the Norway cruise season, but voyages begin in May and run into September.
The Studio cabins for solo travellers that debuted on Norwegian Epic always sell out fast so ita€™s no surprise they are back on Breakaway. Children of all ages (dads included!) will love the aquapark, opened by Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, with the Free Fall (so called because you start standing and are dropped into the slide) and twin twister waterslides, and the ropes course, with swinging beams, nets and a plank that extends eight feet over the side of the ship.A large club lays on fun activities to keep children aged three to 12 occupied and there are more grown-up stuff to keep the 13-17s happy in the teen area. Should be Avoided By People Who Prefer: Quiet settings, understated decor, all-inclusive cruises where all dinners are taken at pre-set times in the dining room with the same table and waiters every night.
Nowhere at sea can you enjoy something more closely resembling a terrestrial resort vacation than on Norwegian Pearl, especially when it comes to dining options. On the pool deck, the water slide takes up a lot of acreage and most of the foot traffic is on the deck opposite the teen facility, so on sea days the pool areas get crowded. The wood burl shelves of The Library groan happily beneath the weight of a good selection of self-help, sports, travel, science, history, fiction and children's books in multiple languages. In addition to selections from their own menu, young passengers can eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets in the Kid's Corner buffet, with mini stools and low tables. The restaurants are more conducive to relaxation, especially Le Bistro and Mambo's Tapas Restaurant. Next to the buffet area, the casual Blue Lagoon, overlooking the water or the atrium, is a great place to grab a snack when returning from a shore excursion. In an impressive leap forward in the art of free-style dining, NCL's all original and innovative reservations system lets guests book tables anytime they want during the cruise for the entire week, beginning as soon as they board. The main entertainment venue, the Stardust Theatre, customarily packed, presents nightly Broadway and Vegas-style productions, comedy and magic acts, and a Cirque du Soleil-style aerial thriller, Cirque Bijou, including gymnasts, acrobats and bungee jumpers.
Shore excursions run the gamut from canopy zipline tours for thrill-seekers to sedate sightseeing trips. The ship has 1,188 cherry wood-finished rooms broken down into 32 categories, a positively dizzying range best considered group by group.
On the topmost deck is an expanse of suites all surrounding a private Garden Villa outdoor pool deck.
If you were referred to this site by an existing member of CruiseMates, enter their username here. From time to time, the administrators may want to send you email notices.If you do not want to receive these notices, disable this option. Optional: Create a unique username and password for CruiseMates below, or leave this unchanged to register through FaceBook. Norwegian Breakaway, the largest cruise ship to ever be built in Germany, departed MEYER WERFT in Papenburg last week, for her approximately 24-hour long conveyance along the Ems River. In preparation for the ship’s conveyance, the Nautical Operations teams from both MEYER WERFT and Norwegian trained and practiced the precise maneuvers for the past several months, utilizing high tech simulators and detailed schematics.

And as you cruise from port to port along stunning coastlines, we’ll keep you entertained day and night with exciting nightclubs, award-winning restaurants, a grand casino, swimming pools, a pampering spa and so much more. Our Pizza Team is happy to deliver a piping hot, homemade pie with your favorite toppings directly to your table, your stateroom, or your favorite bar or lounge. You eat wherever you feel like eating on the ship every night, and each ship offers a large variety of restaurants - some at added cost, but also always several places where the food is included in the cost of the cruise. We rate it among the best loyalty programs considering how quickly you move up the ladder and what you get.
Platinum members receive all of the above and enjoy the added benefit of a complimentary dinner in NCL's signature restaurant, Le Bistro. Book the category you want, and either you will either be upgraded (if available) or you will pay only the cost of the category below the one you are assigned. Another is Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival Corp and father to present day Carnival CEO, Micky Arison.
NCL pioneered the first combined low cost air fares with cruises which helped transform cruising from a Florida novelty into a national industry.
Many of the concepts, and indeed many of the people who worked for Royal Viking, including Knut's son and namesake, are today vitally involved in running the various luxury cruise lines in the world. It now operates a modern fleet that sails to Europe, Australia, New England, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, where it all began, and enjoys a reputation as a strong number three behind the massive Carnival Corp. NCL's Freestyle service, now in operation on all of their ships, offers anytime dining with no pre-assigned tables in a huge selection of onboard restaurants. Norwegian Star, Norwegian Dawn, and Norwegian Jewel were follow-up Free-style cruise ships. Sheehan was replaced by former Oceania Cruises founder and CEO, Frank Del Rio, an extremely savvy and driven cruise industry leader who built Oceania Cruises from a $10-million company to one worth over $1-billion within 10 years. On the inside they are nearly identical to Epic with a few small but important differences. They also feature open air promenade decks with al fresco dining for several of the lounges and restaurants onboard - a new idea that is now catching on with the rest of the cruise industry.
Dress code is flexible, which is to say a couple of large steps down from country club casual. She spends much of the year at sea, uncovering the best and worst about cruise ships, big and small, low-cost and luxurious. Both are included in the price and serve fairly standard fare such as Caesar salads, chicken, surf and turf and port medallions.The Manhattan Room is also free, but has more of a Supper Club atmosphere, with live music and dancing served alongside a similar menu to that in Savor and Tastes. For those who like to try a different cuisine every night, Pearl is absolutely heaven-sent.
The color and design in Spinnakers Lounge is bright enough to send you back to your stateroom for sunglasses. The Bora Bora Health Spa and Salon, operated by Mandara, has 20 treatment rooms for such exotic treatments as algae detox, lime and ginger salt glows, coconut rubs, and milk ritual wraps, including three for couples.
Where most at-sea children's programs turn their backs on the under-threes, NCL welcomes even those in their terrible twos.
The very attractive Russian themed Tsar's, all royal burgundy, green, and gold, with chandeliers, marbled pillars and faux Faberge egg balustrades, is two stories tall, with fabulous huge windows aft.
There a TV-style monitors throughout the ship showing the hours of operation for each restaurant and how busy they are at any given moment.
Or you might prefer the justly celebrated Second City Troupe, which has produced many of North America's best-loved comedians the past few decades, including Martin Short and Rick Moranis. What they all have in common, unfortunately, is an often endless tender process between ship and shore.
This private area has a swim against the current pool, a hot tub, a private exercise room, massage services available and pool cabanas with double-bed size comfy cushions.
The river conveyance demonstrated Norwegian Breakaway’s seaworthiness and marked another key milestone prior to the ship’s highly anticipated delivery. Norwegian Breakaway is the largest cruise ship to ever be built in Germany and presented the most challenging conveyance ever, as the ship required precise maneuvers in order to navigate through extremely narrow passages, with less than two meters clearance on either side of the vessel. There’s tons of fun for kids too, so bring the whole family, and enjoy the European cruise adventure of a lifetime. From elegant French bistros and Italian trattorias to sushi and tapas bars, and more, there's a different dining option for almost every night of your cruise. It is highly advised to plan and make all of your reservations for shows and meals online well before your cruise sail date. Passengers can still opt for meals included in the cruise fare in a main dining room, or they can choose from several onboard alternative restaurants offering a variety of cuisine, most of them carrying a service charge. Unfortunately, sailing three American-flagged cruise ships was not profitable due to the payroll requirements for U.S. In 2014 NCL acquired the more luxury-based cruise lines Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas, which were also largely owned by Apollo Management. Petersburg, but Norway's small cities and villages more than compensate with their scenic beauty, unique museums, funky foods and otherworldly Arctic appeal. In general, summer temperatures are warm but not oppressive, with average daytime temps in the upper-50s and 60s in ports like Oslo and Bergen.
Chefa€™s Table, in the Haven Restaurant and exclusively for passengers staying in that private area, is priced $89 (A?57.23) but that is for a nine-course meal with wine. Ita€™s Strictly Come Dancing without the amateurs and was well performed but not really to my taste. There are 1,047 deck chairs on board, and not a single cushion, unless someone's smuggled one aboard.
The chaise lounges for two seem like something from the decadent Roman age, while the deep blue sateen, inverted comma-shaped, tabels and chairs seem to grow out the similarly colored carpet also filled with similar design patterns. NCL suggests that concierges and butlers be tipped separately in accordance with the services they provide. Many passengers seem to enjoy watching the Teppenaki's predictably exhibitionistic chefs through the large picture window design. There are seldom lines for either Tsar's or the smaller, sleeker, pop-art-decorated Azura. Multiple serving stations are surprisingly efficient to preclude crowding, even on days at sea. If the restuarant you walk up to is too crowded, you can ask the Maitre D' to book you in another restuarant right on the spot.
With up to 10 different restaurants, each featuring a diverse an ever-changing menu, you'll always find exactly what you're in the mood for.
It all began with a tiny 830-ton steamer, the Sunward, originally built for ferry service in Europe.
The new ships have 10 restaurants, a passenger capacity of 2,376 and are capable of 24-25 knot speeds.

While she is the sixth largest ship in the world, she is certainly one of the most expensive ships ever only outpaced by the Oasis and Allure ships of Royal Caribbean. However, longtime Norwegian Cruises VP of Sales, Andy Stuart, was made CEO of Norwegain Cruise Line in March 2015 - shortly after Del Rio took over. One of Colin Veitch's many experiements was to create a new kind of cruise stateroom with wavy walls and colored lights.
Though highs can reach into the 80s, weather there can be change frequently, bringing plenty of rainy days. Unfortunately, they all cost extra and book up fast so you need to reserve a table early.Most are already on Norwegian Epic but Ocean Blue is new. I saw it in the theatre but it is performed some evenings in the Manhattan Room.Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy is another dinner show, this time in the Spiegel Tent, which is designed to look like a big top. Shorter plans the last day of the cruise include 15 minutes for $8.25 and 30 minutes for $12.
Serving stations for breakfast include custom-made waffles and omelets, while lunch and dinner feature pastas and sauces in the combination of your choice. The precise navigation was led by a team of two located on the bridge, with one navigation officer in charge of overseeing the bow maneuvers and the other overseeing the movement of the stern. With up to 13 restaurants and dining rooms on every ship, Norwegian has the perfect menu and location for whatever mood you're in.
In 2007 Pride of Aloha was returned to Star Cruises and Pride of Hawaii was re-flagged to the regular NCL fleet as Norwegian Jade, sailing in Europe and the Caribbean. Lots of different countries are typically represented - all of them English-speaking including Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
You'll also experience long summer days in this northerly destination, but you have to cross the Arctic Circle to experience the "midnight sun," when the sun never sets. This was just in the mini-suites; standard balcony cabins had a smaller bathroom and ordinary shower.
Ita€™s a seafood restaurant, created with US celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, but non-fish lovers can have a steak or duck, and costs $35 (A?22.50) per person. Upon making a selection, the party is given a beeper, allowing them to wander the ship until their table is ready. It was extremely important that not too much force was placed on the bumpers, which can only support a light touch by the ship, which measures 1063 feet long and 130 feet wide; therefore, minimum speed and minimum pressure on the bumpers was essential.
Imagine restaurants open from 5:30 pm to midnight so that you can choose from an early dinner before the show or a later romantic dinner for the two of you.
The Epic staterooms rooms are famous for their awful design which includes toilets behind mere partitions instead of full walls and closing doors.
Unbranded shampoo, soap and shower gel are supplied in large dispensers but there was no conditioner.
The Raw Bar next door serves crustaceans and is priced A  la carte.Cagneya€™s is a traditional steakhouse and always very highly praised, while Moderno is a Brazilian-style churrascaria, where the meat is carved tableside from huge skewers by crew dressed as passadores. I didna€™t see it but those who did were generally positive.Fat Cats jazz club, the Comedy Club and Howl at the Moon Duelling Pianos show were big hits on Epic that have found their way onto Breakaway. All have safes, hairdryers, TVs and refrigerators, beds that convert from queen to twins, and enough drawer and closet space for two people on a seven-night cruise. After passing through the locks, Norwegian Breakaway continued along the river, stern first. I ate there one evening and enjoyed the experience, but for the fun company rather than the food, which was disappointing.
A fireworks show at sea on the last night of each cruise in new.Spa and sportThe spa is operated by Steiner and offers the usual range of treatments, from massages to facials and body scrubs.
Due to the strong propulsion in the aft section of the vessel, traveling stern first helps with maneuverability which is a key component when navigating the vessel through such narrow passages. There is also a range of teen treatments (for the under 18s), a hair and nail salon and medi-spa services that promise to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. And with hotel and food prices in Norway being sky high, a cruise can also be the most affordable way to see this northern land. Oa€™Sheehana€™s, which has a bar separate to the dining section, drew the crowds on my cruise, as did the atrium bar, where there is a big screen showing music concerts.In warm climes, the Maltings beer and whiskey bar and Shakera€™s for cocktails are likely to be popular as both have seating on the Waterfront. A one-day pass costs $39 (A?25), a seven-day pass $146 (A?94).The gym was also large, and split into separate studios, one of which is dedicated to the new Flywheel craze, which is spinning to high-energy music and in the dark. If the sun gets too hot, you can always retreat to the coolest place on the ship - the New York-themed ice bar, which is kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit (parkas and gloves are supplied) and cocktails (two are included in the $20 (A?13) per person entrance price) are served in glasses made from ice.
There doesn't seem to be much of a standard Norway cruise -- many are a mix of southern and northern ports, as well as other Northern Europe destinations -- but here's the basic breakdown.
Many mainstream and luxury lines offer itineraries to these northern ports; the cruises are typically two to three weeks and may also hit some southern Norway ports, as well.
Both a homeport and a port of call, Bergen is rich in history and art, and it's easily navigated on foot or via public transport.
There, you'll want to take a cruise along the Aurlandsfjord and Naeroyfjord or a ride on the steep Flam Railway. Stavanger is the jumping-off point for boat trips into the Lysefjord, with its dramatic cliffs (including the towering Pulpit Rock) and gushing waterfalls. It's also home to some unique museums, including the Norwegian Canning Museum and the Norwegian Petroleum Museum.
Don't miss a walk through the wooden houses of Old Stavanger or the harbor area with its seaside restaurants and local shops.
Norway is incredibly expensive for Americans and even for Brits; food prices especially are much higher than most travelers are accustomed to. This means you might want to take most of your big meals on the ship, and save your spending money for more affordable snacks or special treats. Fish markets in many ports sell more than just fish, and you can get samples of elk, reindeer and whale from the vendors. Or find a cafe serving Norwegian waffles with jam made from local berries or the region's caramel-flavored brown goat's cheese. Norway is family-friendly, with lots of outdoor play structures and kiddie areas in museums and shopping venues. While you'll retrace your steps at the end of the day, often with a slowdown by the famous falls, the light will be more photo-friendly in the morning, and fewer people will be about to block your view. Plus, given Norway's notoriously finicky weather, there's no guarantee that rain won't set in before the ship departs.

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